The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is ready to restart. It’s been shut down for nearly three years to address what the NRC calls significant performance deficiencies.
The plant is operated by the Omaha Public Power District.
According to a news release, the restart readiness assessment is, “based on the NRC having thoroughly reviewed all of the extensive actions OPPD committed to take prior to restarting the plant.”
Fort Calhoun Station has been shut down since April 2011 for a refueling outage that was extended due to Missouri river flooding. The plant remained shut down to correct a variety of concerns with plant equipment, programs and processes.
According to the release, “The NRC has concluded that the plant, people, and processes are ready to support the safe restart of the Fort Calhoun Station.”
That decision was reportedly based on more than, “23,000 hours of extensive NRC inspections and detailed evaluations to independently review more than 450 restart actions items, major improvements made by OPPD to the plant’s supporting organizational infrastructure and programs, as well as a number of equipment modifications to improve reliability.”
Federal inspectors will be on hand when the plant starts-up for round-the-clock observation.
OPPD says the process will have a number of stops along the way to check progress. The entire effort can take five to six days to reach 100 percent power.
According to a release from the utility, reenergizing the plant will reduce the need to purchase power off the grid to provide for OPPD customers. That could be a value of tens of millions of dollars in 2014.